I toyed with the idea of forgoing coffee entirely, but decided in the end that enduring the hellish withdrawal to get to the other side of my fierce caffeine dependency was just not something I felt like dealing with.
The problem is.. I like my coffee creamy. And sweet. And it is difficult to create creamy sweetness with non-sugar, non-dairy, non-soy items. Here's a rundown of my failed (and eventually successful) attempts to continue clutching to my morning ritual of warm, creamy, delicious uppers.
COFFEE + COCONUT MILK + CINNAMON
Verdict? Decently sweet and palatable, but not at all creamy. I used the kind of coconut milk that comes in the milk-carton, rather than the canned type (which is creamier). So, too watery.
COFFEE + ALMOND MILK + CINNAMON
Verdict? Awful. Undrinkable. Somehow the combination of these ingredients made for an unbearably bitter taste. I tried to choke it down for the sake of my addiction, but couldn't do it. (Hence why I question the source of my day 2 headache)
This is the point at which I went to the interwebs for some ideas, and found some recipes for paleo coffee creamer. I found one from Deliciously Organic that seemed simple enough (and didn't involve eggs, like some, which grossed me out), and was easily adaptable for various flavors. So I gave it a try...
COFFEE + PALEO COFFEE CREAMER (pureed dates + canned coconut milk + cinnamon)
Verdict? MUCH better. The dates and coconut milk provide a little bit of creamy sweetness. However, I started to notice that the bitterness from Attempt #2 came along as I drank my coffee. I theorized that for some reason the cinnamon was getting increasingly bitter, so on my next batch I left out the cinnamon, and that was definitely much better. However, since the pureed dates is by no means liquid, it does mean that, especially towards the end of the cup of coffee, you end up kind of chewing your coffee. So... the best option so far, and totally doable, but not ideal. Which is when I finally tried...
COFFEE + BUTTER + COCONUT OIL (aka Bulletproof Coffee)
Verdict? The holy grail of delicious paleo coffee!!
Putting butter and coconut oil in your coffee sounds super gross, I know, it's why it took me a week and 3 failed attempts at making delicious coffee before I finally decided to give it a try. But it results in a super creamy, tasty, delicious coffee that might even be better than regular non-paleo coffee choices, I swear! To make it you put about 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee and coffee in a blender and voila....
And the result is kind of like the best damn latte you've ever had - super creamy, with a little bit of foam on top, with a really nice flavor too. I usually have to sweeten my coffee, but it's not even necessary with this (but I did throw a little vanilla extract in it which gave it a nice flavor). You can certainly flavor this with any other spices or flavorings to kick it up a notch too.
But for real, this stuff is liquid creamy coffee heaven, and I clearly saved the best for last. Paleo Coffee Conundrum is officially over. Bonus points that there are major health benefits (getting the good, healthy oils and fats you need which also help slow down the absorption of the coffee so the caffeine crashes and spikes are no more).
So there you have it! Now excuse me while I continue to sip on my epically delicious cup of coffee....